Since ‘grey‘ is the colour everyone’s been talking about recently, I thought I would give it a go and create a post based almost entirely on it but seriously, what do you think of when you think of grey?
Words: Oliver @oliverinstead / Photos: Laura
Is it a gloomy cloud-covered sky? A cute cuddly koala? Or a bestselling erotica?
For me, when I look at this concrete brick wall, I’m transported back to the time in Ninh Binh when Dung showed me around the nearby villages. At one stop, I witnessed a couple of women mixing up water, ashes and limestones chipped off the mountains, to produce cement bricks that will eventually be used in the neighbourhood to build houses – houses that will only last for 20 years, perhaps less.
At the moment, there are 12,000 hectares of limestones in Ninh Binh, which along with the 10-mile long coastline makes up the attraction of this part of Vietnam. However, the beauty of it all is fast disappearing, except for the small fraction that is protected by the government but soon enough, this region will never see the marvel on the scale nearly as astonishing as it used to.
I’d love to be able to point my finger at the Vietnamese people and have a good go at them for their cluelessness in defacing their homeland but then, these are hardworking people who are simply trying to support themselves and their family. Banning limestone mining would mean denying the locals the opportunity to make a living but not doing so would risk losing the beautiful landscapes, not to mention the nation’s significance from geological and archaelogical viewpoints.
Ever since Ninh Binh, I’ve not been able to see the colour grey in the same light as I did before. For the longest time, I always assosiated it with sophistication and maturity, but now, I also sense a level of concession… I suppose it’s appropriate, since grey is caught in the middle between black and white – while either end of the spectrum is unmistakably translucent, the middle ground can often be compromising.
Belt: Esprit | Socks: Osprey | Brogues: Florsheim
It’s easy sometimes to take what we have for granted considering we are raised with resources pretty much handed to us by nature. It’s even easier to turn a blind eye on a problem occuring in a foreign land due to geographical boundaries or blame the natives for not taking actions to preserve the planet – a responsibility that actually we, children of Earth all bear.